Skype and DECT join forces

First impression: take one ordinary DECT phone, add Skype support and what do you get? The world's most useful home phone. Click on to read why we've fallen for a homephone

First impression

It's not often we get excited about a home phone - twice a year is a bumper crop - but this one gave us a frisson of excitement when it turned up.

Olympia's Cordless Dual Phone, see, is the first ever combo DECT and Skype phone. What that boils down to is normal calls via your BT landline plus free calls to Skype-packing mates via the internet - a genius combination that could slash your phone bill.

We've been playing with the phone for a week and love it. Sure, the design and ergonomics are more low-rent than the Old Kent Road but - but, but, but - it's not utterly repugnant.

More importantly, it works a treat - call quality's superb - and is a cinch to setup on a Windows PC. Macs and Linux aren't supported yet.

What we like most about the phone is the way it moves Skype away from your PC. Although your computer needs to be switched on to make phone calls, you can dial your Skype and SkypeOut contacts directly from the handset's address book (it automatically pulls out all your existing Skype contacts).

Our only whinge so far is that the phone doesn't seem to recognise when you're picking up your voicemail, so you have to play messages through your PC's speakers. Still, it's small beer for an otherwise corking piece of gadgetry.

In short, if you've got friends, broadband and a Windows PC, this phone deserves a space in your life.

You can buy one for £75 from and we'll have more for you in November's issue of Stuff.

Cordless Dual Phone's website